MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING on September 17, 2015.
A regular meeting of the Board of Directors was held at North Berwick Elementary School in North Berwick, Maine on September 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm with all members present except Mr. McCabe. The student representative was present and the press were absent. There were 8 in the audience.
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Wheeler to accept the minutes of August 27, 2015. All members voted in favor except Ms. Alwin and Ms. Manly who abstained, and the motion passed.
Public Input: None at this time.
The Superintendent shared opening day enrollments. Noble High School-1130, Noble Middle School-476, Knowlton School- 207, Hussey School- 410, Lebanon Elementary School-167, Hanson School- 312, North Berwick Elementary School- 314 and Mary Hurd Academy-22
The Superintendent then shared with the board revised goals for 2015/2016. Communication is key and the board discussed creating a quarterly informational letter for residents. There are a couple of policies that need to be looked at and regular review of the “B” policies that relate directly to the board powers and responsibilities would be beneficial. The board will also conduct annual coffee sessions to meet, greet and interact with staffs. Program Efficacy will be a focus as well with written documentation of program review and then further conversations as needed. The budget is a large focus for the board as well and various actions were discussed to support and maintain vital programs and services. Develop a board member support system to develop new board members and support Board member roles.
The Superintendent then reviewed the MSAD 60 Strategic Plan which has been revised and updated. It was shared with the board on line via google docs and it will be reviewed and then made more public.
Kaitlyn Price shared with the board her update and student report from the high school:
- Start of School
- How it went
- Early Release Wednesday, September 9, 2015
- How students reacted to the early release due to heat
- Update on Fall Sport Teams
- Cell Phone Policy
- Student complaints and concerns
Start of School:
The High school this year started on September 2nd for the 8th and 9th grade, and on September 3rd for 10-12. The second week of school there was an early release due to heat. The school’s first pep rally is this Friday the 18th along with the homecoming game. The homecoming dance is the following Saturday.
Early Release Wednesday:
On September 9th this year the schools closed early due to extreme heat in the area. This occurrence did make the news.
On the news article listed above, parents did think the early release was ridiculous. However, the consensus students was not only was the heat annoying, it made focusing in class much harder, and was hindering the learning process.
Many students were excited and agreed that the school closing early was a good decision. The heat on Tuesday was considered almost unbearable by the students and staff. There were a few concerns however regarding the early release;
- If school was cancelled due to heat, why weren’t the practices also cancelled?
- Why isn’t there AC, and/or fans in these types of situation? (The board responded to this and noted that there wasn’t a feasible way to provide AC in all of our schools and be fiscally responsible.)
Update on Fall Sports Teams:
So far this season, the field hockey team has a record of 0-5. One game has gone into overtime, and two were very close matches, according to the coach and players. The team is very young, as there are only 4 seniors, the rest of the team consisting of 10 sophomores and 10 freshmen. The team is looking to increase their numbers over the next year and hope to have a varsity team, and bring back JV as there has not been one for seven years.
The cross country had three meets so far this season.
The golf team has had four games so far this season.
The girls soccer team has completed 5 games so far this season, and their current record is 0-5. They have scored a total of ten goals this season with Bri Armenta as their top scorer. The team is composed of 12 seniors, 2 juniors, 4 sophomores, and 1 freshman.
The boys soccer team have competed in 5 games so far this season.
Cheering this season is going great. They are currently working on a cheer for the pep rally Friday. They are also working on new ways to get the crowd pumped at football games this year.
The varsity football team is doing great this year after being switched to the B league. Their current record is 1-1, as they won the first game of the season. Their roster has 41 players from seniors to freshmen. At practice they are working on and perfecting plays. They have also been watching videos of the teams they are competing against this year to create successful strategies for each game. Their last game had a minor setback(In the face of defeat, the athletes did not know how to cope both on and off the field), which they are working on to overcome it. Their next game is homecoming on friday this week against Greeley High School.
Cell Phone Policy:
This school year, there is a new cell phone policy that restricts cell phone use during classes. Cell phones are only allowed use in between classes, during lunch, and/or before and after school.
Students are against this policy due to an amount of reasons. The most mentioned ones are that many students use their phones as calculators and planners due to programs built into the phones. Many say the policy is too strict due to phones being capable as learning devices, and should instead be prohibited on a case by case system, or by the teachers during their class.
The board then discussed re-establishing the board policy subcommittee. Ms. Potter and Ms. Olean are both willing to continue but are also willing to step down to allow others to take their turns. They will continue in their current capacity.
The board then heard an update on student and staff handbooks for all of the schools. Crisis plans were shared with the emergency management team in York County and were reviewed positively. All are in good shape and ready to go.
The Superintendent then shared a letter of resignation from Ms. Wendy Ryan, school nurse at Noble High School, as she is heading to a full time position at York Hospital. She will be sorely missed. Ms. Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Cowan to accept the letter of resignation of Ms. Wendy Ryan with regrets. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Policy First Readings:
The board held the first reading of Policy IJOC, School Volunteers. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The board held the first reading of Policy ILD -Educational Research: Student Submission to Surveys, Analyses, or Evaluations. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The board held the first reading of Policy IMBB, Exemption from Required Instruction. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The board then held the first reading of Policy IMD- Period of Silence. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The board then held the first reading of Policy IMDA- Patriotic Exercises. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The board then held the first reading of Policy IMDB-Flag Display. There was some discussion regarding different details of the language and it will go to the policy subcommittee.
The Superintendent noted that here is a new lacrosse toss back wall at the high school. The funds to build the wall were raised in part by Mr. Bradburn’s recycling work. He contributed half of the funds to build it.
The Superintendent then updated the board regarding the meningitis letter that was sent out.
The Superintendent then shared with the board an unsolicited donation from the Dollar General Store. They gave $1000 towards our literacy goals. Very positive. Thank you! Ms. Wheeler made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Alwin to accept the donation with appreciation. All voted in favor and the motion passed.
The Superintendent updated the board on the professional development meetings that focus on evaluation. Our first meeting was today and he shared with them the learning targets for the meeting: Define Student Learning Objectives, Access the SLO handbook, and Use it as a guide to help with the process and pre assess professional practice using the Marshall Rubrics.
Ms. Potter shared with the board her feelings about the positive interactions of the drivers. She was very impressed with Cindy Hennelly as she reached out to the kindergarten students over the phone before the first day of school and reassured parents.
The superintendent noted that we are lacking in spare drivers and would like to find more people who may be interested in applying for this kind of work in our district.
Mr. Price shared his thoughts that perhaps we should have a more specific re-entry process for students who are asking to return. He’d like to see us formalize it a bit. A deliberation period might be important and a revisit of the original event to help board members be thorough in the approach to the re-entry of students. Mr. Connolly noted he will work on a draft process for Board review.
Mr. Cowan asked about whether or not the football scoreboard was operational. The superintendent noted that it was in the process of being repaired. Update: the board is operational.
Mr. Cowan also asked about the bleachers in the B gym. We will follow up with the athletic director and potentially some of the coaches to further review the situation. Update: this is in process.
Ms. Alwin asked about the usage fees for the buildings and how the custodial staff was impacted by the extra use of the facilities. A discussion ensued about public feedback on the topic by a resident. Mr. Connolly noted a task force will be put together this fall to gather information on and prepare a recommendation for a future Board meeting. That group will be made up of parents, a Board member, administration, and potentially high school student representatives.
Ms.Olean thanked Mr. Roberts for the refreshments for the board meeting this evening.
Ms. Wheeler brought up a concern from a staff member regarding technology at the high school and his own specific curriculum that he developed several years ago on a different platform. Mr. Jonathon Payne, tech integrator at the high school noted that he has spoken to a staff member in protracted conversations about how he can support this person and the work in his classroom. Mr. Payne noted that he didn’t think that the district could support a “pick your own device” system of technology delivery. The board concurred. It was also noted that there is a work around system to convert files in question, and that Mr. Payne is offering his services.
Ms. Potter made the motion and it was seconded by Ms. Alwin to adjourn at 9:00 pm. All members voted in favor and the motion passed.
Adjourned at 9:00 pm.
Steve Connolly, Superintendent
Secretary of the Board of Directors